Art World Successes of 2017

Harriet Lodge, December 20, 2017

As 2017 draws to a close and the Art World gets ready for the next year of Art Fairs, Exhibitions and Gallery Openings, it seems fitting to reflect on some of the successes the Art World has experienced over 2017.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

The opening of the Abu Dhabi’s Louvre in November 2017 provided a new cultural space within the Middle Eastern Art Market. The Museum’s Galleries showcase twelve chapters based on ‘shared humanity,’ spanning from ancient artworks to more contemporary pieces, paired with items borrowed from the French Museums.[1] This culmination of ancient Eastern works and contemporary European pieces presents a cohesive and unifying structure for the Museum’s new UAE location. Should you wish to visit, the current exhibition runs from December 21st 2017 to April 2018 and explores the origins of the Louvre in 17th and 18th Century.

Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi

It would be difficult to miss out arguably the biggest success of the Art World this year; Christie’s hosted the sale of the record breaking piece at over $450 million (£342 million) in New York in November of this year.[2] The price tag attached to the painting made it the most expensive sold at auction, but also echoes the scarcity of da Vinci paintings on the market[3] (ironic considering almost sixty years earlier the piece sold for just £45 at Sotheby’s)! The Louvre Abu Dhabi is set to become the home of the masterpiece - another reason to visit!

The Michelangelo Exhibition

Heralded “the show of the year” by the Observer, and said to contain, “more masterpieces-per-foot that we might ever see in New York,” the exhibition continues the success of the Old Masters this year.[4] The Exhibition contains over one hundred of Michelangelo’ drawings, a selection of sculptures and a collection of other pieces.  The exhibition can be viewed in The Metropolitan Museum of New York and continues until February 2018, so tickets are still available if you find yourself in New York over Christmas.

Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires

November proved to be a popular month for Art successes in 2017. The renowned Art Basel launched ‘Art Basel Cities’ in March of 2016 and announced its first partner to be Buenos Aires this year. It’s due to run in September of 2018 and is directed by High Line Art Chief Curator Cecilia Alemani.[5] The initiative is backed by Art Basel Cities Exchange, also launched in November, which aims to “create a stronger, more connected Art World” through art collaborations across the globe.[6]

Frieze Young People’s Programme 2017

Frieze partnered with The Showroom, Whitechapel Gallery and educators in art to inform London Sixth Form Students about the variety of employment options in the Art World. [7] Frieze Education offers workshops for students from varying socio-economic backgrounds to inspire young people to join the Art Industry and visit the Art Fair itself. Frieze’s Education Programme isn’t new, however the inclusion of young aspiring art professionals in the industry is something that more focus has been placed on in recent years and ultimately keeps the industry fresh - a worthy on-going success of 2017.

Museum of Contemporary Art Launch Toby’s Prize

The Museum in Cleveland launched a new artist award named after the collector Toby Devan Lewis in December 2017. The prize comes with a $50,000 reward, half dedicated as prize money and half towards funding artistic production.[8] The artist prize coincides with the Museum’s 50th anniversary, establishing a fitting event to mark the occasion.[9] Alongside the monetary prize, the winner also receives a dedicated exhibition comprising of the artist’s own works.[10] MOCA’s support of emerging artists and arts experimentation is certainly noted.

Masterpiece 2017

Earlier in the year Masterpiece’s annual Art Fair saw a record number of visitors; 44,000 art enthusiasts, Art World Professionals and educators visited the Fair in West London, not to mention the 8,500 that were present for the preview.[11] Not only did the fair achieve record visitors and sales, it also successfully launched the ‘Masterpiece Presents’ initiative. The new exhibition space greets guests at the entrance and provides an “immersive installation”, this year adopted by Iván Navarro.[12] Masterpiece 2018 looks to be just as glamourous as 2017!

The Art World has provided some surprising and notable events and successes over the past year which will hopefully continue to inspire more budding artists into the scene throughout 2018. To all the art enthusiasts, Art Professionals, Art Educators, Artists and indeed the whole Art World, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Alchemy!

Written by Harriet Lodge - Recruitment Resourcer at Alchemy Recruitment Ltd

[1] Louvre Abu Dhabi, Museum Galleries, (2017)

[2] Christie’s, Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi Makes Auction History, (15/11/17)

[3] Christie’s, Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi Makes Auction History, (15/11/17)

[4] David D’Arcy, The Met Museum’s Michelangelo is the Show of the Year, OBSERVER, (17/11/17)

   Deborah Solomon, Review: Michelangelo Minus the Pieta, WNYC News, (10/11/17)

[5] Art Basel, An Inspiring Week for the Launch of Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires, (2017)

[6] Art Basel, An Inspiring Week for the Launch of Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires, (2017)

[7] Frieze, Young People’s Programme 2017, (2017)

[8] ARTFORUM, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland Established $50,000 Prize, (6/12/17)

[9] Alex Greenberger, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland to Launch $50,000 Toby’s Prize, ARTNEWS, (6/12/17)

[10] Alex Greenberger, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland to Launch $50,000 Toby’s Prize, ARTNEWS, (6/12/17)

[11] Masterpiece London, High Quality Gallery Presentations and Record Visitor Number Inspire Strong Sales at Masterpiece London 2017, (2017)

[12] Masterpiece London, Masterpiece Presents, (2017)

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